SCHOOL MODEL POLICY
All teachers and head teachers are entitled to enjoy a reasonable work/life balance. This is acknowledged in the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD), which states that:
“Governing Bodies and head teachers, in carrying out their duties, must
have regard to the need for the head teacher and teachers at the school
being able to achieve a satisfactory balance between the time required to
discharge their professional duties ... and the time required to pursue their
personal interests outside work. In having regard to this, Governing
Bodies and head teachers should ensure that they adhere to the working
limits set out in the Working Time Regulations.”
(2010 STPCD, Section 2, Part 10, paragraph 63.4)
In line with this responsibility, the Governing Body of ....................................... school has adopted this work/life balance policy.
Work/life balance is about ensuring that this school’s teachers are able to combine work
with their personal interests and commitments outside work. Good work/life balance is an essential factor in staff effectiveness and satisfaction, which in turn supports pupil learning. It can help to recruit and retain better motivated staff through giving them greater control of their working lives and a stronger sense of ownership.
As part of its commitment to work/life balance ............................................ school:
; recognises that effective practices to promote work/life balance benefit both
teachers and pupils;
; will promote the development of workable solutions and encourage a partnership
between individual teachers and their line managers;
; will develop, monitor and evaluate appropriate policies and practical responses
that meet the specific needs of the school, having regard to fairness and
consistency, and valuing teachers for their professional skills not their working
; will communicate its commitment to work/life balance to its staff; and
; will encourage senior managers to lead by example.
The aim of this policy is to:
; enable employees to balance their working lives with their personal needs,
interests and caring responsibilities;
; safeguard the health, safety and welfare of staff;
; assist the head teacher in his/her professional duty, as set out in Section 2, Part
9, paragraph 56.12 of the 2010 STPCD to:
“lead and manage the school’s workforce with a proper regard for
their well-being and legitimate expectations, including the
expectation of a healthy balance between work and other
; support staff with family and caring responsibilities; and
; enable management, governors, employees and trade unions to work together to
identify solutions to improve and maintain a reasonable work/life balance for staff.
The Governing Body agrees to:
; ensure that the contents of this policy are communicated to staff on a regular
; consult regularly with staff and their trade unions to ensure that the policy is
effective in achieving a reasonable work/life balance for all staff; and
; ensure that the policy operates in a fair and consistent manner.
Role of the Governing Body
The Governing Body will nominate a work/life balance Governor with responsibility for promoting and monitoring work/life balance in the school.
The involvement of staff is key to the success of this policy. Trade union representatives and staff will be consulted over the introduction, monitoring and ongoing evaluation of the policy and its impact.
Proposals should be made in writing to allow staff, unions, management and governors to consider them fully and to respond with their own amendments and suggestions. Staff will be encouraged to discuss matters collectively through their union groups so that informed negotiation can take place between union representatives and management with a view to reaching agreement. This may also involve a whole staff meeting.
As well as consultation with staff and unions as a whole, the following measures will be adopted by the Governing Body to monitor work/life balance and individual workload concerns.
; Provision of up-to-date job descriptions, with duties and responsibilities relating to
individual teacher’s roles clearly identified and staff consulted prior to any
; Consultation between the head teacher (or deputy head teacher) and NQTs, new
appointees and those promoted internally, six weeks after they take up their new
post, to explore work/life balance issues and to see if the school can offer further
; Properly conducted exit interviews, or use of exit questionnaires, when staff
resign to find out if problems with work/life balance played a part in the
resignation. The governor with designated responsibility for work/life balance will
An annual calendar of meetings, deadlines and events will be provided to staff so that they can plan ahead and manage their workload in such a way as to help maintain a satisfactory work/life balance.
When drawing up a calendar for the following academic year, the head teacher will consult staff in the summer term on the pattern and number of meetings, to be agreed within the limits explained below.
Consultation with staff will also include the timings of INSET, report schedules, parents’ evenings, sports days, classroom observations and other activities and events that might impact on work/life balance.
If, because of unexpected pressures, a member of staff recognises that they may not be able to meet a particular deadline then they should inform their line manager at the earliest opportunity to discuss how they can be supported in completing the task.
Following consultation, staff will be provided at the beginning of each academic year with a breakdown of directed time, setting out their commitments in terms of teaching, PPA time, leadership and management time and meetings.
Reasonable Additional Hours
A reasonable work/life balance cannot be achieved if the hours worked by teachers in addition to directed time are excessive.
The Governing Body acknowledges that it is not for employers to determine how many additional hours should be worked or when those hours must be worked (2010 STPCD, Section 2, Part 10, para 62.7). Rather, it is for teachers to determine what additional hours need to be worked. The Governing Body will encourage teachers to maintain a proper work/life balance.
To ensure that teachers’ working hours are reasonable the Governing Body agrees to
carry out a regular audit to estimate the additional hours that teachers are typically carrying out per week.
Where this audit shows that a particular policy or initiative is contributing to excessive workload, or when it is raised by trade unions on behalf of staff, the school will consult and review the policy or initiative to seek to reduce workload pressures.
The Governing Body recognises that NUT policy seeks to limit the overall number of hours worked to a 35 hour week and commits to seeking to reduce overall working hours to this limit.
The head teacher will consult teaching staff on the pattern and number of meetings staff are required to attend. Meetings will last no more than 60 minutes and will be held on no more than an average of one evening per week during a term, with a maximum of two evenings in any one week.
Meetings will be timetabled at the beginning of the academic year and should have a clear purpose. Only staff whose presence is essential will be required to attend.
Agendas should be prepared and circulated in advance and it is the responsibility of those calling and directing meetings to ensure effective time management. Meetings should terminate when their purpose has been achieved.
Part-time teachers will not be required to attend meetings or come into school for other purposes on days when they are not required to be available for work under their contract of employment.
Time Off in Lieu
Following parents’ evenings or open evenings for prospective pupils and parents, the
school may need to open later than normal the next day in order to allow a sufficient break for staff in accordance with the 1998 Working Time Regulations, which confer the right to a minimum rest period of 11 consecutive hours in a 24 hour period.
Working at Home
Consideration will be given to requests from staff wishing to work at home during their PPA time.
Job sharing and part-time working
......................................... school recognises the benefits for staff and employers of job
shares and will seek to accommodate requests for job sharing or part-time working wherever possible.
All new initiatives will be considered in terms of their impact on work/life balance.
The Position of the Head Teacher
This policy is also intended to ensure that the head teacher and others in management positions also maintain a reasonable work/life balance.